Instrument Care

What should I do to maintain the instrument, and what lubricants do you recommend?

  • The most important thing is to keep your instrument clean, inside and out, and to keep it well oiled. Simply wiping down the exterior of the instrument with a cloth before you put it in the case will slow lacquer wear, and cleaning the slides and valves regularly will prevent sluggish action and corrosion.

  • We find that most brass players don’t oil their valves nearly often enough. Axial-flow valves in particular need to be oiled frequently for best action, about every day or two. Rotary valves should be oiled about twice a week. We recommend oiling your valves before you put the instrument in the case, particularly after long practice sessions or heavy performances or rehearsals. This practice will help prevent wear over the life of the instrument.

  • Here at the factory we use and recommend Hetman products for handslides, oils and tuning slide lubricants.

  • For more information about specific maintenance instructions, please download our

    S.E. Shires Maintenance Instructions.


How much does an S.E. Shires Trumpet or Trombone cost?

  • Please contact a Sales Associate at S.E. Shires or visit one of our many dealers for more information about pricing and availability.

Why should I pay so much for a trumpet or trombone?

  • This question really gets to the heart of our mission and slogan: Quality without compromise. First, large manufacturers are forced to produce models that will suit as many players as possible. For years, serious players at all levels have spent large sums of money customizing stock instruments; the economics of our model actually work better for the serious player than buying a stock instrument and making costly and sometimes unpredictable modifications to it. Our modular system and custom approach allow us to be relentless in our pursuit of not only the sound you’re looking for, but the feel as well. We can make an instrument that suits you with no compromises.

    Secondly, we could certainly reduce our manufacturing costs by practicing the economy of scale of the large manufacturers, but we choose not to for several reasons. Could we find 200 employees that have the skills and care as much about the details of their work as the 30 or so that currently work here? We don’t think so. Most importantly, we are committed to keeping our current high ratio of research and development to production. Innovation in every field has always come from small companies and we are determined to remain at the forefront of innovation in brass instrument design and manufacture.

Do you have financing available?

  • Many of our dealers have financing options available. Additionally, S.E. Shires now offers an in-house financing plan. For more information contact us here.

Do you accept trade-ins of used components?

  • S.E. Shires Co. does not accept trade-ins of used instruments or components towards new ones. However, many of our dealers resell previously owned instruments and parts.

Instrument Customizations & Repairs

What finishes are available?  How do they affect the sound?  How rugged are the available finishes?  Do you have anything against leaving an instrument raw?

  • Complete trombones and trombone components are normally provided with a durable epoxy lacquer finish. Lacquer gives a clean, finished look to the instrument and adds to its durability. We find that the effect of our lacquer process on the sound is minimal; our studies have shown that while lacquer may cut down slightly on the high overtones, the effect is often a more refined sound. Trumpets are most often silver-plated. MA state laws make in-house silverplating cost prohibitive but we have a great relationship with the best plater in the business, Anderson Silver Plating in Indiana. We do all our lacquering here at the factory. We have found that plated surfaces affect the sound less than lacquer. Raw brass and gold-plated finishes are available on special order. We are happy to provide unlacquered trombone bells on request, but we recommend against leaving trombone valves or slides unfinished.

Do you do repair and customization work?  What about custom configurations or parts?

  • We are a custom brass manufacturer, so we will do most requested customizations of our instruments. In addition to the standard line of trumpets we have a custom option where you can build your own instrument. Please contact us to help guide you through this process. We also make our parts available to other repair shops. The first priority in our factory is necessarily the manufacture of Shires instruments, but we do take a limited amount of customization work that will be worked in around current production; please call us at 508.634.6805 or email at with your specific request and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Ordering Timeframe & What's Included

How long will it take to receive my Shires instrument?

  • Delivery times vary by instrument type. Please ask us for the current estimated delivery time of the item that interests you. When you or your dealer places an order with S.E. Shires, an approximate delivery date is included on the sales order confirmation. The best way to purchase a Shires instrument quickly is from a certified S.E. Shires dealer who has it in stock.

 Are the case and mouthpiece included?

  • All complete instruments ship with case, mouthpiece, and care kit. If you have any questions about whether or not your particular instrument ships with a case and mouthpiece, please ask when placing your order.

Visiting the S.E. Shires Showroom

How do I book an appointment to visit the S.E. Shires Showroom?

  • All visits to the S.E. Shires Showroom require an appointment. Walk-ins can not be accommodated. You can visit our appointment scheduling page by clicking here.

When do you offer appointments? 

  • Appointments are offered Monday through Friday at 10:00am or 1:00pm and are available on a first come, first serve basis. If you do not see an appointment that fits your schedule, please contact us.

 What should I do to prepare for my visit to the S.E. Shires Showroom?

  • After booking your S.E. Shires Instrument Consultation, begin thinking critically about what you're interested in. We will run through a variety of parts and determine what works best for you.  We encourage you to keep an open mind as we go through the process as we believe allowing sound and feel to guide us yields a much longer lasting result than any preconceived notions.  

    We encourage you to bring your current instrument with you (though it is not required) to provide a control group for the rest of the appointment.  While you may want to move away from that sound, it provides context and contrast to the rest of the appointment.  We also recommend people warm up on an instrument they are familiar with.

  • Please be aware that closed-toe shoes are required for any visits or tours of the S.E. Shires Factory! 

Can I purchase an instrument directly from the S.E. Shires Showroom?  

  • While we have many instruments and components available for instrument consultations, we can not stock every option or guarantee it's availability.  We generally have a great selection of our standard models and components in stock and ready for showroom appointments. If there is a specific instrument or component you are interested in trying, please check with us.

  • Often times we can accommodate a same-day purchase from our showroom.  If this is not an option based on the  components that you have selected, we can schedule a new one to be built (instrument building times vary) or help you to work through an authorized S.E. Shires Dealer.

Returns & Exchanges

What is your return and exchange policy?

  • Standard-model trumpets, trombones, and components not requiring customization—when purchasing from the factory, are entitled to a two-week trial and evaluation period during which the instrument may be returned for a full refund or exchanged for a different model, in full or in part, minus shipping costs. After this two-week evaluation period, instruments are non-returnable/non-refundable and fall under our two-year warranty.

    Customized trumpets and (trombone) components—if, after communicating with S.E. Shires during the two-week trial period, we decide that a different leadpipe, tuning slide, bell or valve set, or other component would fit you better than the standard models or components that we regularly assemble, it may make sense to fabricate a customized component or instrument for you. S.E. Shires assesses the cost of customization on a case-by-case basis. Customized trumpets and components cannot be returned for exchange or for refund. For an additional charge, custom trumpet customers may have the option of trying the instrument in raw brass to ensure it is a good match, before it is lacquered or plated.

    We cannot emphasize enough that we at S.E. Shires are 100% committed to building the perfect brass instrument for you, and that we will work diligently with you to accomplish that goal.

What if I bought my Shires instrument or component from a dealer?

  • Please consult your dealer for the terms of their return and exchange policy. After the purchase of an instrument from a certified S.E. Shires dealer, we will work with them to ensure that you are completely satisfied, within the limits of our respective return and exchange policies, and our two-year warranty.

What if I want to change my Shires trumpet or trombone after my trial period has ended?

  • Our trombones are made using a modular system, so it is easy to purchase a new component that will swap out easily with the corresponding part of your existing instrument. Trumpet or trombone components can also be modified by purchasing parts from us, then having them installed. If the work is to be performed by a third party, we recommend that the technician contact us directly to order the necessary parts.


What is the warranty on my Shires instrument?

What if I bought my instrument or component used?

  • The S.E. Shires two-year warranty applies only to instruments and components purchased new from S.E. Shires Co. or from a certified S.E. Shires dealer.